Toddlers get up to mischief, and sometimes it happens in the bathroom. One of the most common bathroom complaints is that the toddler has flushed a toy down the toilet, and it blocks the drain. Even if it hasn't started to block, there is the risk that it will happen in the future. Here are the next steps to take when you find out a toy has gone into the toilet.
Check the Neck
If your hands are small enough, you may be able to check the goose-neck of the toilet bowl. This is a disgusting job, but will be better than risking a blockage later on. You'll also stand a chance of getting the toy back! Put on some rubber gloves and have alcohol gel at the ready afterwards.
If you are successful at getting the toy back, make sure the toilet has a child lock on it to prevent this from happening again. If it doesn't work, it's possible that the toy has moved on already.
If you can't or don't want to use your hands, invest in a plumber's snake. This is a tool with a coil on one end so it bends around the neck and a handle on the other so you don't have to get down and dirty. You could also use a wire coat hanger to bend it around the neck. This can be a good way to grab the toy, even when it has moved further up. If you still can't feel it, it's likely gone further and can't be retrieved.
Try Flushing a Wad of Paper
Take the largest wad that you dare and place that down the toilet. Flush twice (allowing the bowl to refill in between) and if it goes down without a problem then there isn't a blockage. However, it is worth keeping an eye on your bowl for a few days afterwards to be extra sure.
If the paper comes back up, it's a sign that the toy is causing a blockage somewhere. You may need to get an emergency plumber to find out where this is exactly.
Consider Removing the Toilet
One drastic option is to remove the toilet. Make sure you turn the water off to avoid flooding. This isn't something all parents will want to do, and it is worth calling a plumber to do this part to avoid any damage to your home.
Now it's time to avoid this from happening again and help your child understand why toys cannot be put in the toilet. This will avoid potential blockages in the future and tears over missing favorite toys.